Holiday Spotlight: Seasonal Favorites in the Nation’s Capital

After surviving a game-changing national election that will change the landscape of our nation, Washington, D.C., gears up for the final holiday season of the Obama administration. From a union perspective, 2016 has been a year of action and progress. A few of the many highlights include supporting our brother and sister service workers in their continuing fight for a living wage at National and Washington Dulles airports, seeing the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) approve new contracts with Safeway and Giant and our continued participation in the ongoing Fight for 15. We salute the work of all our union brothers and sisters in their fight to build a strong middle class.

As anyone who has visited the District of Columbia during the holiday season knows, our nation’s capital represents when it comes to displaying some serious yuletide spirit. When you’re not hunkering down against the cold with family, friends and loved ones, we invite you to take advantage of some of the enchanting holiday offerings below. There are options for all ages and price ranges, and we thank our D.C. union brothers and sisters for helping to make them all sparkle.

And last but not least, an excellent way to get around town is on our great—and all-union—Metro rail and bus system, which will get you where you need to go safely and inexpensively.

1. ICE! at the Marriott’s Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

  • When: Nov. 19, 2016–Jan. 1, 2017
  • Where: 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, Md.
  • What: Frosty the Snowman invites you to step inside a winter wonderland created entirely of 5,000 blocks of ice weighing 1.5 million pounds! The attraction includes a live ice carving zone and the Frostbite Factory, where ice artisans create their frozen wonders.
  • Union: UNITE HERE
  • More info:
    Metro: NH1 Line from Southern Avenue (Green) or NH2 from Huntington (Yellow) or King Street (Blue/Yellow)

2. Washington Wizards at Verizon Center

  • When: Multiple home games through April 8, 2017
  • Where: 601 F St., NW, Washington, D.C.
  • What: OK, so it’s not strictly a holiday event, but you can catch the flashy duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal battle their NBA rivals several times in December and January.
  • More info:
    Metro: Gallery Place (Yellow/Green/Red)

3. Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" at Ford’s Theatre

  • When: Nov. 17–Dec. 31, 2016
  • Where: 511 Tenth St., NW, Washington, D.C.
  • What: Craig Wallace headlines as the miserly Scrooge who is led on a journey of redemption by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future in this music-infused holiday favorite.
  • Unions: AFM, IATSE
  • More info:
    Metro: Metro Center (Blue/Silver/Orange/Red)

4. "The Nutcracker" by the Washington Ballet at the Warner Theater

  • When: Dec. 1–24, 2016
  • Where: 513 13th St., NW Washington, D.C.
  • What: The classic tale of Clara and her magical journey includes appearances by George Washington and King George III in the celebrated production with whimsical touches by the Washington Ballet.
  • Union: IATSE
  • More info:
    Metro: Metro Center (Blue/Silver/Orange/Red)

5. National Symphony Orchestra: Handel’s "Messiah" at the Kennedy Center

  • When: Dec. 15–18, 2016
  • Where: 2700 F St., NW, Washington, D.C.
  • What: Laurence Cummings conducts four gifted singers and the University of Maryland Concert Choir in Handel’s masterpiece, an NSO tradition.
  • More info:
    Metro: Dupont Circle (Red)

6. ZooLights at the National Zoo

  • When: Nov. 25, 2016–Jan. 1, 2017 (except Dec. 24 and 25)
  • Where: 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
  • What: Take a walk through the zoo and join the thousands of visitors who make ZooLights a part of their annual holiday tradition. A free 36-day event, ZooLights includes live music performances, tasty winter treats and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping.
  • Union: AFGE
  • More info:
    Metro: Cleveland Park (Red)

7. The National Christmas Tree

  • When: Ongoing through Jan. 1, 2017
  • Where: 15th and 17th streets, NW, Washington, D.C.
  • What: Visitors can enjoy a live 40-foot tree and the "Pathway of Peace," 56 smaller, decorated trees representing all 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia. This year’s lighting design includes some 310 LED cool white micro-style lights and 350 red, white and blue LED string sets—all Energy Star® qualified—and roughly 300 recycled star ornaments.
  • Unions: NTEU, USPPFOP
  • More info:
    Metro: Farragut West (Blue/Silver/Orange) or Farragut North (Red)
This is a guest post from Jackie Jeter, president of the Metro Washington Council, and Cherri Senders, Labor 411 president.